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Acer Brings Zen+ Processors to Its Nitro 5, Swift 3 Notebooks

Acer Nitro 5. (Image credit: Acer)

After struggling with Intel's CPU shortages for almost a year, Acer will join Asus, Dell, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, and Samsung in launching laptops using the chipmaker’s second-generation Ryzen Mobile processors based on the Zen+ microarchitecture. Acer announced that the Nitro 5 and Swift 3 notebooks will be the company’s first to ship with AMD’s second-generation mobile CPUs.

Acer Nitro 5 Now with 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile

The Acer Nitro 5 is a gaming laptop for casual gamers, providing a second-generation 35W quad-core/eight-thread AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor with Radeon RX 560X graphics. It also promises “stunning visuals” on its 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with a 80% screen-to-body ratio. The screen-to-body is a metric apparently some laptop makers have started to care about more recently, after “edge-to-edge” smartphones have started becoming mainstream.

The Nitro 5 supports Wi-Fi 5 with 2x2 MU-MIMO technology for effortless game streaming, according to the company. The laptop also supports HDMI 2.0 and USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps).

Other gaming-oriented features include Acer’s CoolBoost technology and a dual exhaust port to improve sustained gaming performance. Acer says CoolBoost increases fan speed by 10 percent and CPU and GPU cooling by 9 percent compared to auto mode.

The notebook also comes with Acer’s Network Optimizer, which leaves more bandwidth for games played over the internet. The program may also block some applications’ access to the internet while the user is within a game, but users can control how those apps get blocked.

Acer Swift 3 Ultraslim with 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile

The new Acer Swift 3 ultraslim notebook will also feature a second-generation 15W quad-core/eight-thread Ryzen 3700U processor with Radeon Vega Graphics. The laptop maker will oa discrete Vega 540X GPU is optional).

Acer Swift 3. (Image credit: Acer)

The Swift 3 also comes with a 14-inch display with even slimmer bezels (Acer didn’t mention the screen-to-body ratio on this one) and an aluminum body that opens 180-degrees to lay flat. The laptop weighs 1.45 kg (3.2 lbs) and is 18 mm thick (0.71 inches).

Acer will display the two notebooks at the company’s showcase at Xinyi Plaza, Xiangti Avenue Plaza in Taipei on May 28 to June 2, 2019.

AMD's 3000-series, Second-Generation Zen+ Mobile Processors

If the AMD Ryzen Mobile naming scheme confuses you, you're probably not the only one. AMD is calling both the Zen+ mobile processors and the third-generation Zen 2-based desktop processors the Ryzen 3000-series. One explanation for this might be that AMD didn't want consumers to think that its laptop processors are launching so far behind the desktop processors -- even though that's exactly what's happening here.

It's objectively unfair to consumers who don't read the spec sheets of the processors found in the laptops they buy from stores. Many go into the stores, see the Ryzen 3000-series processor and believe that processor comes with all the improvements found in the Zen 2-based desktop processors, when that's not the case. AMD seems to be counting on this confusing to sell more AMD-based laptops to consumers.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.